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Published on Mar 06, 2015 by Edgar Snyder

The Ultimate Guide to Pittsburgh Potholes

Pittsburgh pothole guide

Everything You Need to Know about Potholes in Pittsburgh

It's that time of year again in Pittsburgh—whether you're in the city or the suburbs, no road in the area is safe from potholes. Due to Western Pennsylvania's unique climate and topography, roadways become a breeding ground for potholes in the late winter and spring.

These road craters can cause damage to vehicles, and car accidents. And it's not just drivers who should beware—potholes are a safety hazard to bicyclists and pedestrians as well. What should you do if you see a particularly problematic pothole in your area? And what can you do if a pothole damaged your vehicle or caused a car accident? We've put together the ultimate guide for how to deal with Pittsburgh's Pothole Problem.

How to Report a Pothole

Each year, the citizens of Pittsburgh call in to report approximately 4,000 to 5,000 potholes. With Mayor Peduto's help making road repair a priority, the typical pothole in Pittsburgh will now be repaired three to five days after being reported.

Public Works and PennDOT maintain that even within this timeframe, they still aim to patch the more dangerous potholes first. How you report potholes makes a difference.

What to Include in a Pothole Complaint

  • Report as much detail about the pothole's location as you can.
    • Specific street names are much more helpful than "near where the old CVS used to be."
  • Include what Public Works officials call "Red Flag Information."
    • "Red Flag Information" is how the pothole is specifically impacting safety and traffic flow.
    • The more Red Flags a pothole raises, the faster it will be fixed.
    • For example, did you witness vehicles dangerously swerving to avoid the crater?

Who to Contact

Don't wait. If you notice potholes or other dangerous road conditions, report them immediately. There are different groups to contact depending on who owns the road on which you spotted the pothole.

For roads within the City of Pittsburgh:

  • Call 3-1-1—this is the City of Pittsburgh's Non-Emergency Response Center.
    • All calls to 311 are answered by a live operator from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Leave a Voice or Text Message
    • Can't make a call right away? At any time, you may leave a voice or text message for the 311 Response Center by dialing or texting 412-573-9736.
  • Submit a Complaint Online.

For state roads maintained by PennDOT:

  • Call 1-800-FIX-ROAD (1-800-349-7623)
  • Be sure to have the following information available: 1) Name of County, 2) Name of Township/Borough, 3) Name of road, 4) closest intersection. Your name and phone number is optional.

For other local roads in PA or in other states:

  • Contact your local government responsible for maintaining roads.

What to Do If a Pothole Caused a Car Accident or Damaged Your Vehicle

Say you've been injured in a car accident caused by a pothole, or maybe your car was damaged because of one. Who's responsible? Beware—Pennsylvania has very specific laws about your rights as a victim of an accident caused by bad roads.

If your accident happened on a road owned by Pennsylvania (like the PA Turnpike or a state route):

  • You can't sue the state for property damage.
  • You can receive money for your injuries IF you can prove that PennDOT had notice of the pothole or other bad road condition and a reasonable time to fix it.

If the accident occurred on a road maintained by a local government in Pennsylvania:

  • You can sue for property damage to your vehicle, but you usually collect little more than your insurance deductible.
  • You can sue local governments for serious injuries caused by potholes. You must prove that the local government knew, or should have known, about the pothole and had time to fix it.

Note—Time limits apply: you must file a claim in writing against the state or a local government in PA within six months of the date of the crash.

Did Bad Roads Cause Your Accident?

If you've been hurt in a car accident because of any dangerous road condition, don't assume that it was your fault. You may have a case. We'll stand up against the government—or whoever is at fault—and get you the money you deserve. Our car accident attorneys have experience proving cases where potholes, ice patches, or any bad road condition had an impact.

Contact Edgar Snyder & Associates right away at 1-866-943-3427 or submit your information online.

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